Drake Is (Still) Unstoppable: Reaction to Drakes Historic Debut

complex March 18, 2021 Drake 20
Drake Is (Still) Unstoppable: Reaction to Drakes Historic Debut

Remember the talk about the Drake era being over and a potential slowdown? With the success of Scary Hours 2, Drake proves (once again) hes unstoppable.

Drake s new three-track EP, Scary Hours 2, made historyby taking all three top spots on Billboard Hot 100 in its debut week. The songs appearon the charts in the same order as their sequence: Whats Next, the Lil Baby-featured Wants and Needs, and lastly, Lemon Pepper Freestyle with Rick Ross. All 12 minutes and 34 seconds are different variations of Drake: the celebratory hitmaker, the taunting rap titan, and the status update lyricist. These defining qualities intersect across the trifecta. Each one is a victory lap for radio stations, public parties, and industry playlists by turning visions into verses, life into lyrics, success into songs without omitting the who, what, or where. These intimate details have made a diary out of his discography. Its as he stated on Lemon Pepper Freestyle: Ushered a generation in, these are where my confessions live. The Drake generation. Who knew thats where the world was headed in 2010, with the release of his debut album, Thank Me Later? It was year one of a run that would extend over the next 11, reimagining a developing artist who sang and rapped into a deity of the digital era. A tweet that read, Drake is unstoppable, brought to mind how every rap superstar has a moment where they seem invincible. DMX in 98 after dropping two No.1 albums in the same year. Eminem in 2000 with the diamond-selling Marshall Mathers LP. Kanye West in 2010 when he released his magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. You could say Lil Wayne during Tha Carter III takeover or Outkast when Speakerboxxx/The Love Below conquered pop culture. In every example, the artists experienced apotheosis, going from running with the pack to peerless. The transformation for Drake started as early as Take Care, his 2011 sophomore album, and by the 2015 surprise mixtape, If Youre Reading This Its Too Late, there was no question about his status. Even the title reads as a notion that he cant be stopped. All 17 songs on the mixtape are charting on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, read news reportssix years ago, a feat that felt monumentalat the time. This was a digital-only release with no prior promotion and the world stopped for it. Not only was the project massive, but successful, selling 535,000 units all from streams and digital downloads. I wanna prove that Im number one over all these niggas, bein number two is just being the first to lose, Drake raps on the final track, the same song where he says, Longevity, wonder how long theyll check for me, prolly forever if I stay in my zone. The entire project exerts this feeling of conquest and domination, which started the whispers about the eventual fall. No one gets this high without gravity pulling them back down. Since IYRTITL, any perceived misstep came with whispers that Drakes declining. Losing his touch. Most recently, Charlamagne tha God expressed his belief that the Drake era was over last December. After more than a decade, he felt a shift had occurred. His take wasnt completely unsound. The Toosie Slide may have gone No.1, but it didnt feel massive. At least not in the way a Drake single should. The same can be said about Laugh Now Cry Later. A good song, but not a world-shaking haymaker. Lets not forget, Dark Lane Demo Tapes, his 2020 mixtape of leaks and loosies, debuted at No.2 on Billboard Hot 200, his first project not to top the chart. Going back further, in 2019, a disappointed crowd at Tyler, the Creators Camp Flog Gnaw festival booed when Drake, not Frank Ocean, was revealed as the special guest. All these little moments could be seen as a giant shrinking. A sign of the times changing. There was a creeping doubt about whether or not he was unstoppable anymore. The success of Scary Hours 2 is such an achievement because of how it continues to defy every forecast that he couldnt last. Instead, he looks sturdier than ever at a time where every other superstar has pushed their albums back because of this pandemic, and retreated to the distance. Drake had to push his album back, too, but its Drake, so hes figured out ways to stay an ever-present figure in our lives. The mixtape, the one-off singles, the features, collabs with Khaled, and now this three-pack, timed perfectly to when things are starting to open back up in major cities. His consistency and adaptability is unrivaled. No other rapper has maintained as a hit factory, a streaming machine, and a stimulus package in human form like Drake has. Knowing where he came from, that proverbial bottom of Datpiff downloads and blog posts, is what makes him an anomaly. Social media still felt new when he arrived. Streaming services were in their early development. The industry saw a shift happening, but no one artist felt like they were on the pulse of this changing terrain, not before Aubrey Graham. By making vulnerability, not starvation, the genre of his psalms, he became the voice of captions for Twitter fingers and IG posts. That supremacy migrated to Spotify and SoundCloud, memes, and Apple Mus

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